The Government claim that the UK’s international status is largely unchanged following the Brexit vote.
The statement comes to light via a written response to a parliamentary question asked by Kate Hollern (MP for Blackburn):
“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of how the decision to leave the EU will affect the procurement of defence equipment and the cost of procuring defence equipment from abroad.”
Answered by Julian Brazier:
“The EU Referendum result does not affect the United Kingdom’s status as a major international power. As stated in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review, we remain firmly committed to strengthening our Defence relationships with our Allies, partners, and Defence industry. An important element of this is delivered through Defence procurement, but it is too early to assess the effect of the decision to leave the EU as we have not yet agreed the terms of our negotiated departure.”
Furthermore, researchers at European Geostrategy broke global powers down into four categories: Super Power, Global Power, Regional Power and Local Power. The United States took the top slot as the world’s super power, while Britain took the only Global Power slot, bringing her in second behind America. Regional powers include France, China, India and Germany, while local powers were those such as Italy, Brazil, and Turkey.
The organisation European Geostrategy rate the United Kingdom as a global power, they define this as:
“A country lacking the heft or comprehensive attributes of a superpower, but still with a wide international footprint and [military] means to reach most geopolitical theatres, particularly the Middle East, South-East Asia, East Asia, Africa and South America.”
The British Armed Forces comprise the Royal Navy, a blue-water navy with a comprehensive and advanced fleet; the Royal Marines, a highly specialised amphibious light infantry force; the British Army, the UK’s principal land warfare force; and the Royal Air Force, with a diverse operational fleet consisting of modern fixed-wing and rotary aircraft.
The country is a major participant in NATO and other coalition operations and is also party to the Five Power Defence Arrangements. Recent operations have included Afghanistan and Iraq, peacekeeping operations in the Balkans and Cyprus, intervention in Libya and again operations over Iraq and Syria.
Overseas defence facilities are maintained at Ascension Island, Belize, Brunei, Canada, Diego Garcia, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Kenya, Bahrain and Cyprus.
The UK still retains considerable economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence internationally. It’s a recognised nuclear weapons state and its defence budget ranks fifth or sixth in the world. The country has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its inception.